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Book of illustrations : ancient tragedy   By: (495? BC - 406 BC)

Book cover

First Page:

BOOK OF

ILLUSTRATIONS

ANCIENT TRAGEDY

RICHARD G. MOULTON

CHICAGO

The University of Chicago Press

1904

ILLUSTRATIONS

THE ANCIENT DRAMA

(TRAGEDY)

CONTENTS

STORY OF ORESTES [ Oresteia ], A TRILOGY BY Aeschylus AGAMEMNON THE SEPULCHRAL RITES [ Choephori ] THE GENTLE GODDESSES [ Eumenides ]

ELECTRA, by Sophocles

ELECTRA, by Euripides

ALCESTIS, by Euripides

THE CYCLOPS, by Euripides

THE BACCHANALS, by Euripides

MISCELLANEOUS PASSAGES

REFERENCES

In the case of Aeschylus and Sophocles the numbering of lines agrees with that in the translations of Plumptre and in the original. In the plays from Euripides the numbering is that of the lines in the cheap translation (Routledge's Universal Library).

[Transcriber's note: In the original book, the line numbers mentioned above were right justified. In this e book, they are enclosed in curly braces, and placed immediately after their associated line of text, e.g. ". . . a line of text {123}".]

A CONDENSATION OF THE TRILOGY

STORY OF ORESTES

[ ORESTEIA ]

BEING THE ONLY GREEK TRILOGY, OR THREE PLAY DRAMA, WHICH HAS COME DOWN TO US COMPLETE

CONSISTING OF

MORNING PLAY:

AGAMEMNON

MIDDAY PLAY:

THE SEPULCHRAL RITES

[ CHOEPHORI ]

AFTERNOON PLAY:

THE GENTLE GODDESSES

[ EUMENIDES ]

COMPOSED BY AESCHYLUS, AND BROUGHT ON THE STAGE AT ATHENS AT THE FESTIVAL OF THE 'GREATER DIONYSIA,' IN MARCH OF 458 B. C., DURING THE POLITICAL EXCITEMENT OCCASIONED BY THE POPULAR ATTACK ON THE ARISTOCRATIC COURT OF MARS' HILL, OR AREOPAGUS

The passages quoted are from Plumptre's Translation

MEMORANDUM

The Sacred Legends touched by this Trilogy would be familiar, in outline, to the Auditors: e. g.:

The woes of the House of Atreus: the foundation of them laid by Atreus when, to take vengeance on his brother Thyestes, he served up to him at a banquet the flesh of his own sons;

His grandsons were Agamemnon and Menelaus: Menelaus' wife, Helen, was stolen by a guest, Paris of Troy, which caused the great Trojan war.

Agamemnon, who commanded the Greek nations in that war, fretting at the contrary winds which delayed the setting out of the fleet, was persuaded by the Seers to slay his own daughter Iphigenia, to appease the Deities;

Her mother Clytaemnestra treasured up this wrong all through the ten years' war, and slew Agamemnon on his return, in the moment of victory, slew him while in his bath by casting a net over him and smiting him to death with her own arm;

Then she reigned in triumph with Aegisthus her paramour (himself one of the fatal house), till Orestes her son, who had escaped as an infant when his father was slaughtered, returned at last, and slew the guilty pair;

For this act of matricide, though done by the command of Apollo, Orestes was given up to the Furies, and driven over the earth, a madman, till in Athens, on Mars' Hill they say, he was cleansed and healed.

Cassandra too was involved in the fall of Agamemnon: the Trojan maiden beloved of Apollo, who bestowed upon her the gift of prophecy; when she slighted the God's love, Apollo for no gift of a god can be recalled left her a prophetess, with the doom that her true forebodings should ever be disbelieved. She, having thus vainly sought to save Troy, with its fall fell into captivity, and to the lot of Agamemnon, with whom she died.

The name of Orestes would suggest the proverbial friendship of Qrestes [Transcriber's note: Orestes?] and Pylades, formed in Orestes' trouble and never broken.

TRILOGY OF THE ORESTEIA

FIRST PLAY: IN THE MORNING:

AGAMEMNON

PROLOGUE

The Permanent Scene is decorated to represent the facade of the Palace of Agamemnon, at Argos; the platform over the Central door appearing as a Watch tower. At intervals along the front of the Palace, and especially by the three doors, are statues of Gods, amongst them Apollo, Zeus, and Hermes... Continue reading book >>




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